I work with all things digital humanities. My research questions how technology changes the environment around us, physical and digital, and discusses whether those changes are for the better. We are becoming increasingly digital, it has become a way of life and it is important to understand how and why that is happening. For the past couple of years I have immersed myself in this digital realm. I’ve blogged, I’ve tweeted, I’ve facebooked, emailed, iphoned, skyped. I felt connected.
However, recently things have changed. I’ve been neglecting my blog somewhat. In fact I have also been neglecting Twitter and facebook. I have even been failing to reply to email. I don’t know what has happened. Social media is the background to my life. It is how I interact with people at work, my friends, followers, it’s what I research. It is something which is simply on where ever I am.
It might be on, but recently the information isn’t being received. Have I reached breaking point? Do I have too much information at my fingertips that I’m now at information overload? Is “real time” communication a double-edged sword? Being constantly accessible by mobile phone, email and twitter – has it made it more difficult for me to think clearly? Were people right who challenged me about the use of Twitter in academia, it leads to mediocrity because it dulls the senses?
I am enthusiastic about what I do, I love questioning how and whether we can apply technology to our experience of history, heritage and culture. But how can I do that, when I am now questioning my ability to apply technology to my experience of the day to day.
I don’t seem to find the time to stop and think. That is what I used to use social media for, specifically here on the blog. It allowed me to think, to breathe, to question the work that I do, and the places that I visit. I hope it is just a lull. I have had plenty to talk about. Just lack the time to get all my thoughts down.
In less than a month, I need to rearrange my brain. Come January I will be starting my PhD where I will be exploring user experience and information seeking behaviour of online museum content. I am fascinated by the nature of participation and engagement possibilities provided by digital spaces and social media and whether online interactions with cultural content provide engaging experiences for users, supporting inquiry and meaning making. This combines everything I love: museums, digital things and users. I had hoped I would be able to fully critically reflect on what this means for scholarly debate, shaping digital humanities discourse and the practical implications for cultural heritage institutions.
The whole of November is a blur. I am trying to finish off all my work projects so I have a clean slate to start my PhD. It almost like I have been standing still while the world rushes on around me.
(awesome timelapse I love the Natural History Museum section. But it does visulise how I have been feeling. time is flowing so fast, and I’m slowly watching it whizz past me)
Time to think and to breathe has been at an all time low.I want to fix this, so what did I do? A mind map of course!
Now that I have leaked everything I had to do on a page, I hope it will be easier for me to deal with. And I can get back to being my old communicative self.